18 Wheels of Steel: Across America Review

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18 Wheels of Steel: Across America

18 Wheels of Steel: Across America Puts You in the Driver's Seat of Your Own Big Rig

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DFG Exclusive Review Summary

A very good game, far above average & recommended.


  • Unique combination of driving and strategy games.
  • Attention to detail allows for a more realistic truck driving experience.
  • A variety of loads to haul and places to take them.


  • Takes a long time to get from city to city.
  • Truck can become stuck with no way to reset it.




Read Full 18 Wheels of Steel Review

Game Description

Operate Your Private Trucking Business and Drive 18 Wheeled Semis All Over the Country!

You are the owner of a brand new trucking company and you answer to no one. Ship cargo around America and raise your trucking empire to become America's number one carrier.

Live the Life of a Self-Employed Trucker

Start with nothing but a truck and build your trucking empire. You must deliver your cargo on time or it'll cost you money and future jobs.


Don't rush too fast because you'll damage your rig and don't forget to hit the rest stops along the way or you'll be sorry.

Travel America's Finest Cities Along the Way

Establish your company headquarters in one of 20 American cities including: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.

Travel real interstate highways to ship cargo like:

  • coffee
  • books
  • wood
  • livestock
  • chemicals
  • mobile homes

 And that is just a few things you can ship.

Good for Driving and Business Management Fans

A game for all ages, 18 Wheels of Steel: Across America provides hours of fun for kids and adults.

If you like time and business management or driving games, combine them both with this game.

You Call the Shots!

Choose from 17 different rigs and 30+ different trailers and prepare to take care of your rigs because it is up to you to repair parts, buy fuel and maintain the trucks. Don't skip the weigh stations or forget your turn signal because you can and will be pulled over by the cops.

Customize your truck with your choice of dozens of upgrades and paint jobs. End up driving a totally tricked out truck!

Play A Few Different Game Types

Choose from 5 different game modes.


  • In "Become a Millionaire," be the first competitor to reach the $1 Million mark to win.
  • In "Devil of the Western Coast," it's up to you to pick up cargo from Seattle and deliver it to Los Angeles as fast as possible.
  • In "New York Cargo Madness,"you have limited time to deliver a trailer with special cargo to New York but, the cargo can only be found at one loading dock, either Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. If you pick right and deliver it to the correct city within the time limit, you win. 
  • "The Longest Journey" requires you to deliver goods from Miami to Seattle, the longest trip in the game.
  • "Free Mode" has no restrictions so you can build your company as you please.

Hit the Road Quickly and Easily in this 3D Sim

18 Wheels of Steel: Across America features realistic 3D graphics and 8 camera angles to aid your driving. With a clean and simple interface, getting into the game is easy and fast.

Here are just a few of the things you can do in 18 Wheels of Steel: Across America:

  • Feel the power of 15 mammoth machines as you rumble down the highway at 80 mph.
  • Haul 30+ types of goods including livestock, chemicals and mobile homes, cross country to bring in the big bucks.
  • Rule the roads as you drive your mammoth over 1000s of miles of highway across the continuous 48 states.
  • Control each delivery for maximum payout, but-don't overload your rigs or damage them during transport. Mistakes cost you money and future jobs.
  • Slackers need not apply! Start with little cash and prove you've got the guts to risk it all. Make it big in the world of trucking and use your cash to add dozens of upgrades to your trucks.
  • Prove you ain't no amateur big rigger. Back up to loading docks, manage your fuel and maintain your trucks in peak condition.
  • You asked for it! Now you can hit the road to build your reputation coast to coast. Transport cargo across 48 states.
  • Can you handle the pressure? Protect your delivery times and your bottom line against accidents, bad weather and even the police. How are you going to handle these trucking nightmares?

18 Wheels of Steel: Across America Review

Jim Rosenquist Avatar

Review by Mick

Getting behind the wheel of an enormous 18 wheeler is not something most people will experience in their life, but 18 Wheels of Steel: Across America makes just that happen. This game uses amazing attention to detail to create the most lifelike truck driving experience imaginable. You will be picking up and dropping off loads, refueling and even stopping to weigh your truck. Watch out for the police, because if they catch you doing something wrong they'll slap you with some hefty fines.

Several Game Modes Keep It Interesting

Using a unique blend of driving and strategy, 18 Wheels of Steel lets you manage your own trucking company as well as being the driver. You can play in several modes: “Devil of the West Coast”, “Become a Millionaire”, “The Longest Journey”, “New York Cargo Madness” and free play. Devil of the West Coast has you delivering cargo up and down the west coast as fast as you possibly can. Become a Millionaire has a simple premise, make a million dollars faster than your fellow truck drivers and you win.


In The Longest Journey you must deliver cargo from Seattle to Miami and back. The reason for the name, this is the longest trek the game has to offer. If you want to add a bit of mystery to the game, New York Cargo Madness might be the right choice. In this mode you must bring the right cargo to New York, but the cargo could be in any loading dock in Seattle, Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Free play allows you to manage your company however you see fit. You pick up the loads you want and take them to the required destination. In all modes the difficulty can be adjusted from easy to hard.

Great Attention To Detail

Most of the game will be spent on the road delivering goods. That being the case, the well done graphics add a bit of realism to the game. Every detail is carefully crafted down to the occasional critter running across the road in front of your truck. The highways are all correctly named and placed and even include exit signs to let you know where to turn. The cab view of the truck makes it feel like you are really behind the wheel on the open road. The level of detail achieved in this game is astounding.


Long Haul

A few minor drawbacks exist in this game, but if you are prepared for them it won't be a big deal. First, there is the issue of how long it takes to get around. Even some of the shortest city-to-city distances can take upwards of 15 minutes. A cross country haul can set you back more than an hour. The trucks move at relatively slow speeds so long hauls can get boring. The second drawback is getting stuck. If you manage to get your truck stuck, there is no way to get it unstuck. This means you have to revert back to your last save point and start over again. Saving frequently will reduce the amount of tasks you will have to repeat.

Conclusion - Realistic Truck Driving

18 Wheels of Steel allows you to experience the life of a long haul truck driver from the safety and comfort of your own home. Picking the profitable loads and keeping everything nice and legal are just a few of the challenges you will face. When you sit down to play just be prepared to invest some time. Remember to keep your eyes on the road and watch out for “smokey”.

Player Reviews


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18 Wheels of Steel: Across America - Screen 1 18 Wheels of Steel: Across America - Screen 2

Fast Facts

  1. 18 Wheels of Steel: Across America came out on September 23, 2003.
  2. The game was made by the Czech developing company of SCS Software.
  3. Including Across America, there are eight titles in the 18 Wheels of Steel series, including Hard Truck , Pedal to the Metal, Convoy, Haulin,' American Long Haul, Extreme Trucker, and Extreme Trucker 2.
  4. SCS Software has also developed Deer Drive, Bus Driver, and the Euro Truck Simulator series.
  5. Across America is only available for the PC.
  6. Although the 18 Wheels of Steel games are developed and sold at a budget, they are commonly noted for their surprisingly high production values, lifelike AI, and huge sense of scale.
  7. GameSpot praised the series, saying that it will 'push both your reflexes and your brain.'

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